The state saw more jobs created in May, but Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says not enough were created to nudge the unemployment rate down.
Koonce says the rate was unchanged at 6% in May, but was down slightly from the year ago rate of 6.1%. Nationwide, the unemployment rate rose to 9.1% in May from 9% in April. Koonce says things are staying on the slow path they’ve been on the last several months.
She says total non-farm employment increased by 4,400 from the previous month, which she says is a good trend. Koonce says the labor force did decrease by 1,500, but it wasn’t enough to make a drastic change. She says the new jobs were in areas that need a boost.
Koonce says it was good to see a 2,500 job increase in manufacturing, and a one thousand job increase in construction. She says the construction industry in particular has been one that has struggled to come back from the down economy. The unemployment figures don’t include seasonal summer jobs, and Koonce says some of those who’re out of work may be able to find some seasonal work.
Koonce says there will be a better crop of summer opportunities, but she says it will be very competitive with 100-thousand people still out of work. She says teens compete for those jobs as do people who have been out of work, so that makes it more competitive.
The statewide estimate of unemployed Iowans moved to 100,900 in May from 101,600 in April. There were 102,100 unemployed reported one year ago at this time.